“The Crusades—Old and New” American Sentinel 11, 49, pp. 388, 389.

FOR more than a year the professed Protestantism of England and America, in their cry for the blotting out of the Turkish power, have repeatedly cited the Crusaders of the Middle Ages as an example worthy of imitation by the “Christian” powers of the world. Some have even called for the stirring up of a crusade to-day as those of the Middle Ages were stirred up. And now the Catholic press is using all this in her own favor, as “the strongest vindication of the Crusades of the Middle Ages.” A writer in the Forum, for November, wants to see a new crusade raised from among the people as were the former ones; and he wants the Knights Templars and other such orders to be to-day the champions of the movement as they were of old.

Upon all this the Catholic Standard remarks that “whether or not the suggestion be put into practice, the very conception of it as a remedy for the American troubles, is the best answer to the modern vilifiers of the Crusades, and shows that those wonderful uprisings of the Christian masses in the Middle Ages were not the wild visionary and fanatical movements which the nineteenth century materialist would persuade us they were; but that they had their rise in solid reason and intense humanity as well as in lofty chivalry and deep religious fervor.”

If such a thing as this proposed new crusade should occur, it would simply show that people to-day are as wild, visionary, and fanatical as those of the Middle Ages undoubtedly were; instead of showing that the Crusaders of the Middle Ages were the contrary. It could be no proof that the Crusaders of the Middle Ages were sober and sensible, to see a lot of people to-day acting as wildly and foolishly, and murderously, as did they.

As for the Crusades of old time having their rise in solid reason and intense humanity, the truth is that they had no connection whatever with any sort of solid reason; and it would be difficult to find in all history a more inhuman horde gathered from any people making any pretensions to being but few degrees removed from sheer savagery. It is not necessary here to cite instances: the reader can review his history for these. But it is only the truth to say that in the whole contest distinguished by the Crusades of the Middles Ages the advantage in both humanity and chivalry undoubtedly lay with the Saracens and the Turks.

If this new crusade should start for the East and by any possibility should reach there, we should expect some of them at least [389] to be attacked by the Syrian fever. And if perchance it were the chief in command, who should be found consuming in his tent with that dreadful disease, we should expect to hear that the Sultan had sent into the camp of the Crusaders, camels laden with snow to cool the parched lips and quench the burning fever of their stricken commander, as did Sultan Saladin to Richard the Lion-hearted in the Crusades of old. And if the expedition should really come to a war, we might expect to hear at last that on the eve of battle, in the presence of both armies, and over the broken truce of the “Christians” the Turkish commander had openly appealed to Jesus Christ for the justice of his cause, and then had wiped them off the earth, as was done, all of it, by the Turks once before.

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